March 10, 9/11, and the Titanic

bird of paradiseThree years ago on March 10, we lost my dad. He had had some health issues but nothing we thought was life threatening. So his death came as a shock. But I don’t suppose grieving his loss would be diminished had we known.

I hate this day. I find myself getting irritable and weepy days before I remember what’s coming. Somehow my body knows before my conscious mind.

I still struggle with what to do on March 10th. It’s like a personal 9/11 or the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic to me. It feels wrong to ignore it, but what’s right thing to do? What might bring a small bit of comfort?

As the tenth nears, my mind becomes overwhelmed with images from that day: the CAT scan of his brain, my sister fainting, the news too much to take in, calling the other sisters and my son to tell them the horrible news.

Come now to say good-bye.

My father died surrounded by his daughters, a priest, our mom and my nephew, my boyfriend. We held hands around his bed while the priest prayed. My right hand rested on his bare, left shoulder.

It’s hard to focus on the happy memories today even though there are many. It’s easier to focus on happy times, to have spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, to go hit a bucket at the driving range on his birthday or Father’s Day.

I’m not sure what others do to acknowledge terrible anniversaries. I’m not even sure what I will do to make it through the day. I just know tomorrow the sun will rise, as though nothing is different. Maybe there is comfort in that, too.